Freak-Folk Artist Cereus Bright Releases The Deep + Nuanced New EP ‘Boys’; Shares Captivating “Boys” Music Video

March 15, 2024 BY Emma Orland

Today, the freak-folk singer-songwriter Tyler Anthony, better known as Cereus Bright, proudly releases his new EP Boys available on all digital retailers (here). The four-song EP continues where 2023’s Car Alarm EP left off with warm, soft psychedelic production styles and deeply personal lyricism. On the title track “Boys,” Bright reflects on the insecurities that arise when someone we love causes us pain. Hollowed guitar picking and hypnotic bass grooves shift under Bright’s baritone vocals.

Bright elaborates on the song’s personal meaning: “This song began years ago when I heard a story about my grandfather. He was a hard, complicated figure in our family, but then I learned he had been sent to boarding school at three because his mother didn’t want to raise him. It sent me into an investigation of cause and effect. It’s essential to reckon with the people or institutions that have affected us or hurt us, but some times truly understanding is impossible. At the very least, it’s grey. To me, Boys is about just that – the people or things that hurt us often love us too. It doesn’t all fit neatly in a box. For a video, I wanted to complicate the song and push into a harsher tone. The team did an incredible job adding layers of complexity to the song. What are the forces we’re fighting? What do they want from us? Can we resist?”

Accompanying the title track is a magical music video directed by Follow the Leader. It’s mystifying images tell an arresting story of pain and displacement. Follow the Leader further explains: “‘Boys’ speaks to a lot – and part of our challenge was exploring the track’s themes in a way that left them open ended but still felt personal to our shared experiences.  As we dug into the music, we kept coming back to surrealism and nested realities as the best way to do that. In the end it’s really about internalization and what the consequences of it can be — how that looks different for everyone.”


Life transpires between extreme ups and downs. However, all the magic happens in the middle. As if tracing an emotional fault line right down the center, Cereus Bright explores this space with an intimate eye-for-detail and a universal appeal. The Knoxville, TN singer, songwriter, and artist born Tyler Anthony magnifies fits of emotion in the form of magnetic hooks only to delicately examine identity via inventive and immersive soundscapes.

Since 2012, Cereus Bright has quietly moved into this light. He enraptured, entranced, and engaged listeners with albums such as Excuses [2016] and Give Me Time [2021]. Meanwhile, fan favorite “Stella” amassed 20 million-plus Spotify streams followed by “American Dream” with over 8-million Spotify streams. Along the way, he emerged as the rare presence who could share the stage with either The Oh Hellos or Sturgill Simpson and Philip Phillips. Throughout 2022, he recorded his latest body of work. He’s received the acclaim of tastemakers like Paste, American Songwriter, Talkhouse, and Consequence of Sound.

“Where my last record was very personal and intimate, I wanted this project to expand to bigger ideas,” he notes. “I attempted to take the mundane and make it abstract. When you put something familiar in an unfamiliar place, you see it differently. To get there, I explored more mythological and otherwordly ideas and sounds than ever before – while trying to retain the core intimacy of songwriting that I’ve always strived for. I hope what we made is a perfect balance.”

After signing to Nettwerk, Cereus Bright returned with Car Alarm (2023). In four-songs, Bright examines the mundanity of life through artful arrangements that hear subtle saxophones on “Chasing the Feeling,” warm violins on the road-trippin’ “Seven Wonders,” and modest auto-tune on “Car Alarm.” This welcomed evolution starts a new, more cerebral chapter for the artist. He metabolizes philosophy and existentialism into wide open arrangements and poetic lyricism.

The follow-up Boys, continues the focused songwriting amidst lush waves of psychedelia. “Unfaithful” and “Boys” feature cinematic orchestration, blending nuanced lyricism with moody instrumentals. “Drifting” and “Pink Sky” are meant for contemplative sunset summer drives with expansive sonic palettes that evoke a sense of floating, a sense of relief from the mundane.

Cereus Bright

Boys EP

March 15, 2024

Nettwerk Music Group

Listen Here

Track List:

1. Boys
2. Unfaithful
3. Drifting
4. Pink Sky

Photo Credit: Ross Bustin // Download Here